Affiliate Summit East 2008 in Boston
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I’ve been bad about keeping up my blog with my trip to Boston for Affiliate Summit. I did upload some photos, but not many.
Amongst the best thing about going to Affiliate Summit was all the great people I got to meet. One of the first people I met in Boston was Ron from 7 Days a Week Marketing, my mentor for this Summit. The mentor program was put together to help newbies get the most out of the conference. Although I’ve been to an Affiliate Summit before, I thought joining this program would still be a great help. So Saturday evening I met up with Ron at the Affiliate Dinner. I loved this dinner, as it was laid back, but not sponsored by a network with free booze. Big difference from the “networking events” where the booze flows freely (more on that later). I sat at a table full of agencies, which was fine with me.
Sunday morning I went on the CAMA Cruise. When I bought my ticket, I got 2, thinking Steve would join me. But then I found out that he wouldn’t be in town in time, so I thought to give Ron my extra ticket. But he already had one! So I got in touch with Ian Fernando and he took my extra ticket. Ian’s a cool guy and I’m glad we got to chat, although I think he’s used to more hoppin’ “networking events”. Oh, and I won a t-shirt while on the cruise. Not an iPod, but I’ll take it 🙂
Steve arrived Sunday morning, and thought it was a day off. Nope, sorry! Affiliate Summit starts! So we checked in and… well, I don’t know what Steve did, but I went to a few sessions. My first was John Hasson‘s “Which PPC Engines Work and How?” John reminded me a lot of myself, which was encouraging. He’s a hardcore programmer, but has found success with PPC. “Coder gone marketer,” as John would say. I took some good notes, which I’ll review on the flight home.
Side story… so I’m sitting in the session & the guy behinds me asks a staff member for a pen. She can’t help. I get up to get some water, and notice a pile of Seaport Hotel pens there, so I grab one & give it to the guy. This guy turns out to be Charles Ngo, whom I’ve chatted with now & again online, but had never met in person. That’s one of the best parts about Affiliate Summit – meeting all these people that I see online every day.
Then I went to Leveraging Social Media, which I wasn’t too fond of. A lot about Twitter, but not much of anything else. Afterwards I went to a session on NY Tax Laws, which is a hot topic these days. The solution is so simple it’s almost funny: add some T&C to the merchant agreement, and don’t do direct PPC to merchants if you’re a NY affiliate. Works for me!
After these sessions was the meet market, which (as usual) was too crowded to get anything done. People, if you’re going to talk to someone, have the courtesy to step to the side. I met with a merchant whom I’ve been exchanging emails with, and we simply agreed to meet later during the conference.
Sunday night was the Share a Sale party, but I was beat. Since I wake up at 5AM every day, partying late into the night wasn’t going to happen. Jonathan Radande was looking for 2 tickets, and I happened to have 2, so I hooked him up. It was great meeting him, and even better that I could be of help.
Monday I woke up a bit after 5, but since Steve was rooming with me, I went back to sleep. We then went off to the conference. Sitting at breakfast, I noticed a guy at the table was from 11|15 Media. Turns out we’ve been “following” each other on Twitter for some time, and are working together in the Black Ink Project. Again, the face-to-face meetings are great!
The keynote Monday morning was given by Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, NJ. What???? Yeah, that’s what I thought. However, the speech was very inspirational and even humorous at times. Mayor Booker is a great speaker. Blue Man Group introduced him, which I was a bit disappointed in… I thought they were going to be on stage longer than the 3-4 minutes that they were.
I won’t go into details about the sessions. I attended “Content that Kills”, “Anatomy of a Great Affiliate Program” and “PPC Super Affiliate Strategies You Must Know”. Steve wasn’t having a good time and left lunch to… I don’t know. That’s OK, though, as John Hasson sat down in his spot 🙂 I got to talk to John a bit, and we headed over to the first afternoon session together.
Monday night was Linkshare’s party, which I had passes to, but again was too tired to make it. I checked out the bar online, and realized with the rain, it would have been very crowded (and loud, and in a bar – 3 strikes in my book). By this time, Steve had switched his flight & headed home. This conference isn’t for him. So I stayed in & watched the Olympics.
Tuesday was the last day of Affiliate Summit, which was full of sessions. I attended “Web 2.0 for Affiliates”, “International Options for US Affiliates” and finally “Ethical Issues in Affiliate Marketing”. I met up with Dr_Ngo again on Tuesday and got to chat with Neil Turner for a bit. All these guys are so easy to talk to. I know everywhere you read about networking says to just start a conversation, it’s true. I was only blown off once (by Shawn of Affiliate Summit) but he was rushing off and I approached him again later in the day and he took some time to talk to me.
Let’s see… of course John Chow was there taking pictures of his dinner and filming just about everything, I saw Jonathan Volk walking around, and ran into Matt Wood a few times. I heard Jeremy Palmer was around, but didn’t see him. Too bad, I wanted to share with him the progress of my Black Ink site (which I’m SUPER excited about and can’t wait to get it launched sometime this month).
I’ve already bought my ticket to ASW in Vegas (as its a steal to buy it during this conference) and booked the hotel room (so many people complained they couldn’t get into the hotel were the conference is held at… tip: BOOK EARLY!). Even if I don’t go, I can easily cancel the hotel and sell the ticket to someone else.
So now I’m debating where to get some dinner, and will start getting my stuff together. Tomorrow I’ll slowly make my way to the airport, where I’ll overpay for dinner and sit around & read until my flight leaves. Flights from Boston to Buffalo aren’t that convenient. Oh well, at least I’ll be home soon!